What are the causes of malnutrition and dehydration in nursing home residents?


Malnutrition and dehydration are two common types of neglect in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. These conditions can easily become life-threatening if not taken care in a timely manner.

Malnutrition is a result of either consuming less calories than needed, or not getting the nutrients needed in the foods that have been consumed. Dehydration develops when the body expels more water than it absorbs. Luckily, if your loved on resides in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you will have the ability to see the warning signs before these conditions progress.

Some symptoms of malnutrition and dehydration include:

  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Loss of energy
  • Dry, pale, or yellowing skin
  • Red eyes
  • Lightheaded or dizziness
  • Dark urine
  • Thinning hair

Nursing homes may be facing a major problem with being understaffed. Unfortunately, the result are many cases of malnutrition and dehydration. Nurses, and other staff members, are required to look after multiple residents at once, making it difficult to give undivided attention when it is needed most. Some residents are not able to properly feed themselves and the busy nursing home staff may not have the time to sit and assist in feeding. Further, staff may be inadequately trained. As such, staff are oblivious to the proper procedures to take while assisting a resident.

Aside from staffing issues, malnutrition may also be caused by other factors. A resident’s depression may affect appetite. Sickness, particularly where there is excessive vomiting or diarrhea, may cause malnutrition or dehydration. In this case, it is important for residents to be on a special diet to ensure the intake of enough nutrients.

Without proper treatment results may include kidney failure, heart failure, bedsores, swollen or bloated abdomen, muscle or bone loss, or even death. If your loved one is showing signs of malnutrition or dehydration, then please, feel free to call and speak to one of our experienced Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers today. Our consultations are always free.